The Bird of the Year

By Rebecca Priestley In Science

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One night on Macauley Island, in the Kermadec Islands group, in 1988, ornithologists Alan Tennyson and Graeme Taylor noticed something flitting around the Tilley lamp inside their tent. A close inspection of the tiny grey and white bird revealed a Kermadec storm petrel, a species known from only a handful of specimens shot at sea in the 1920s. The bird wasn’t nesting on Macauley, whose seabird population had been devastated by rats, cats and goats, but over subsequent years the birds were occasionally spotted at sea. In 2006, a Navy helicopter dropped Karen Baird and Mike Imber on Haszard Island ...

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